An algorithm is a precise rule or set of rules specifying how to solve some problem.
Trump has a problem. He is president and doesn’t know what to do. Being a reality TV show host has not given him a lot of insight into the workings of government, and it’s not clear that he understands the function of the three branches of government or has ever read the constitution.
Since early January, there has been a continuous flow of information on the connection between the Trump’s staff and Russia. Trump has been unable to distract America from his ties to Russia and the perception that he is little more than Putin’s puppet.
His attempt to distract America has followed a pattern. He can follow this pattern without thinking, perhaps even while playing yet another game of golf. Here is Trump’s algorithm:
- Blame Obama. News media refuses to believe made-up story about tapping Trump Tower (March 4, 2017).
- Blame Muslims. Tried twice, ruled unconstitutional both times (March 15, 2017).
- Blame Democrats. They’re somehow responsible for the failure of Republicans to vote for elimination of the Affordable Health Care Act. (March 24, 2017).
- Blame Hillary. She got the answers to the debate beforehand. (April 3, 2017)
- Start war. Just bombed Syria (April 6, 2017).
In case these tactics look familiar, they are. With the exception of starting a war, they are the same tactics Trump used during his campaign, and I am sure they will be the same tactics Trump uses next time a crisis arises.
For more on the use of war as a distraction, see Wag the Dog. Yes, it’s been done before. We really are living in a movie.